Women’s Crew Reflects on the Head of Charles Races

Olivia Papp ’23

Contributing Writer

The Head of The Charles Regatta is one of the most prestigious, famous, and exciting regattas in the world. Traditionally held on the penultimate weekend in October, the Head of the Charles hosts the best, most qualified rowers to compete amongst each other. The entire course is a strenuous three mile distance, which serves as a true testament to the physical and mental endurance of competing athletes. In total, there are 11,000 athletes competing from 24 countries, thus making this regatta the largest in the world. With 66 different events taking place in the 55th Head of The Charles Regatta over the course of Oct. 19th and 20th, both men’s and women’s Trinity rowing teams were excited to qualify for this esteemed event.


Launching from the CRI Boathouse (Community Rowing Incorporation), the Trinity Rowing crews first had to row a 7k up the Charles River to the start of the race in downtown Boston, next to the Boston University DeWolfe Boathouse. The course was a feat in itself, as herds of spectators stood cheering at each bridge, fighting for a spot on the sides of the river to see renowned rowers compete.


The Head of the Charles Regatta is an honor to attend, and the Trinity women’s rowing program reinforces this special honor by selecting the top eight athletes from the program to row in this regatta. The intended notion is that athletes who trained hard over the summer are rewarded for their work by being reserved a spot for this race. The women’s team decided to focus on racing two fours, as prior results in regattas had gone well with these lineups.
The women’s team gave it their best effort, as the first four boat came in 13th place out of 36 boats with a time of 19:10. The athletes in the first boat were Claire Grigglestone ’21, Kirsten Thiim ’20, Summer Dow ’22, Isabella Bianchini ’23, and coxswain Caitlin Southwick ’20. The women’s second boat was not far behind in 19th place with a time of 19:32. The athletes competing in the second boat were Katherine Cerulle ’22, Olivia Papp ’23, Hannah Walsh ’22, Deborah Moore ’22, and coxswain Zoe Russel ’20.


“The Head of The Charles presents a unique opportunity for us to compete against teams we don’t see in the regular spring season,” said Claire Grigglestone ’21. “I think both boats laid down a solid performance and still have room for improvement for the spring,” she said.

Overall, the weekend of the Head of the Charles Regatta was an intense, memorable experience. Trinity rowers prepared for this race all fall, as they were on the water to train around 6 o’clock each morning, competing with themselves and others in order to be the best. Whether or not the end results were the intended product, all athletes and supporters had a great time competing and spectating over the weekend.